Notes & Reviews:
The fantasia or "fancy" for a consort of viols is one of the glories of English music. This refined repertoire, spanning nearly two centuries, represents the most perfect type of chamber music written in Europe before the birth of the Classical string quartet. Henry Purcell's fifteen 'Fantasias' have come down to us as a manuscript dating from the summer of 1680, when he was just twenty-one years old. Sumptuously performed by Jordi Savall and Hesperion XX, this sublime set of pieces, ranging from three to seven parts, brings two centuries of uninterrupted instrumental tradition in England to a crowning conclusion.
"The virtuoso violistes of Hespèrion XX underscore the stark melancholy of Purcell's fantasias in these intense, poetic readings from 1994." -BBC Music Magazine *****
"Alia Vox's reissue of the Hesperion XX recording reminds me of how I was taken through this amazing music by that great Purcellian John Beckett, his expression ecstatic, a glass of wine in his left hand, his right hand pointing out crunching dissonances that make Monteverdi seem cautious in comparison. Listening to these rich performances, you wonder yet again what the "English Orpheus" would have achieved had he lived longer than his 36 years." -Sunday Times
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Works DetailsPurcell, Henry : Fantasias (15) for viols
- Conductor: Jordi Savall
- Ensemble: Hespèrion XX
- Running Time: 52 min. 6 sec.
- Period Time: Baroque
- Written: circa 1680